The safety says the NFL couldn't tell him what he should have done
to avoid this situation.
Appeals officer Matt Birk upheld the suspension Tuesday after
Griffin appealed the punishment that will keep him out of Sunday's
game at Indianapolis.
"I asked them what should I have done differently, and he told me
there's no clear black and white answer," Griffin said Tuesday night
on his weekly radio show on 560AM/95.9 FM WNSR Sports Radio.
Griffin was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter
of a 23-19 win Sunday for a hit on Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera.
He went low, hitting Rivera as the tight end went to the ground
after attempting a catch. It was Griffin's second violation this
season and fourth since 2011.
The safety said Tuesday night that video clearly shows him running
down the 15-yard line with Rivera catching the ball at the 20 and
falling after his second step. Griffin said he went to his right
knee before they collided, and he also pointed to photos showing
Rivera's chin strap wasn't buckled; that might have caused the tight
end's helmet to pop off.
"They tell me to go low," Griffin said. "Now when the receiver goes
low, I don't know where I'm supposed to do now. Just let him catch
The suspension will cost Griffin $205,882.35 of his $3.5 million
base pay this season, and he is prohibited from any football
activities until Monday.
Griffin was fined $21,000 for hitting Jets receiver Stephen Hill
high while blocking after an interception Sept. 29. The NFL also
fined Griffin $21,000 last season for a helmet-to-helmet hit on
Minnesota receiver Michael Jenkins last season, and the safety was
fined $7,500 for a late hit in the head area with his helmet in a
game at Carolina in November 2011.
[to top of second column]
The timing isn't good for the Titans (5-6) who
currently sit in the AFC's sixth and final playoff spot after
only their second win in the past seven games. They trail
Indianapolis by two games in the AFC South going into Sunday's
Coach Mike Munchak said Tuesday night on his weekly radio show
on 104.5 The Zone that the Titans thought Griffin would win his
appeal because the safety did a lot of what the NFL is asking
defensive backs to do.
"He did adjust his height, his target, all those things that
he's asked to do we thought he did on that play," Munchak said.
"That's why we felt confident that once they saw it in slow
motion and took a good look at it and realized there was no
intent there by any means to hit him. He was pulling off rather
than going forward."
Instead, the Titans have to play without Griffin who likely will
be replaced by veteran George Wilson, who started Nov. 3 when
Griffin was sidelined by an injured quadriceps muscle. This will
be only the second game Griffin, a two-time Pro Bowl safety, has
missed since being a first-round draft pick out of Texas in
2007. He has started 99 of his 106 games played in his career.
Rivera, a rookie out of the University of Tennessee, had his
helmet knocked off in the collision and did not return to the
game. But he had no symptoms Monday and has been cleared by
doctors to play this week. Rivera said Monday that Griffin
texted him an apology after the game.
"I read that he's possibly going to play Thursday night,"
Griffin said of Rivera. "That's really all that matters that
nobody was hurt in the situation and it's done. Now it's all
about the team."
AP NFL website:
Press; TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer]
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